Who wants to eat Thai food in a tree house? This fork reckons most everyone, especially families with children.
That must be why Tamachart Restaurant in Phuket Town is still doing a brisk businesses selling reasonably priced Thai food. All from a restaurant build in and around a tree packed with kitsch décor.
Once the darling of hipster backpackers, Thais and expats for its uniqueness, Tamachart is now tapping new markets while retaining some regulars. While no longer trendy it is finding lots of new customers.
Now it’s doing a booming business with Chinese tourists. Running Fork keeps going on about Chinese visitors to Thailand, but these are not the ‘follow the yellow flag groups’ or so-called zero dollar tours of the last decade.
This is a new, younger generation that eats and spends freely. These Chinese order like they are still in Beijing with tables quickly filled with over a dozen dishes to sample. Rice is served last, then they pay quickly and depart noisily.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand knows this and recently awarded Chinese travellers a three months visa on arrival. Complain about them if you want and avoid their business at your peril.
These Chinese love Thailand and are visiting the country to shop, eat and spend a fork load of cash.
That aside, Tamachart still remains a unique venue for lunch or dinner in Phuket Town.
By car it’s easy to drive right by what looks more like a play house than restaurant. It is on Phutom Road (near Jui Tui Shrine) and street parking can be difficult to find anytime of day.
The menu can also be hit or miss, so stick to Thai basics.
Tamachart does have one of the best selections of ‘Nam Prik’ choices on the island. This fork has long been a Nam Prik addict and Tamachart delivers the real deal, full spice with huge flavour.
Prices are still in the same reasonable (between 80 to 150 baht for most dishes) range as earlier meals enjoyed years ago.
Much is written about Tamachart’s forky interior. It is full of discarded bicycles, a television turned an aquarium, waterfalls and green areas, radios, fishing equipment and old toys, Together it creates an eclectic montage that both appeals and fuels the curiosity.
So don’t settle into tables on the lower floors, go on walk about and keep climbing to the top levels (there are many) and you will be surprised what you find.
And the service on the upper levels is pretty good given the how far staff has to climb to server customers.
if lost dail 076 214 037 and hope they pick up.